Fresh vs. Frozen: Which Type of Egg Donation is Right For You?

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is already considered the most successful fertility treatment. But when donated eggs are used, IVF has an average success rate between 45.8% and 53.9%. You do need to choose either fresh or frozen eggs, although both have pros and cons. For example, fresh eggs may lead to more successful pregnancies, but there can be fewer donors. Whatever your reason for using a donor egg, you and your healthcare provider can discuss your optimal treatment option.

Fresh and Frozen Eggs – a Brief Overview

Fresh or frozen egg donation, along with IVF, all involve the egg retrieval process, in which healthy, mature eggs are collected from a woman’s ovaries. Generally, the ovaries are stimulated with self-injectable fertility medications that mimic the body’s natural hormones to trigger multiple egg development. Once mature, the eggs are removed in a minimally invasive procedure.

Fresh egg donation involves eggs being retrieved and immediately fertilized. This creates an embryo that is transferred into the intended uterus after a few day’s development. It requires for both the egg donor and recipient’s cycles to be synchronized. For frozen egg donation, the eggs are retrieved and cryopreserved so that they can be used whenever, thus eliminating the need to synchronize cycles.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Fresh and Frozen Eggs

Fresh donor eggs allow developing eggs, or oocytes, to be quickly fertilized. This option may supply more available eggs, as intended parents can select an egg donor from their own infertility program or an egg donor agency.

Using Fresh Donor Eggs

Research suggests that using embryos created from fresh donor eggs results in significantly higher pregnancy and live birth rates than frozen embryos. In 2018, over 42 percent of all assisted reproduction techniques (ART) using fresh donor eggs resulted in a birth.

But using fresh eggs can be more expensive, as they must be used immediately, requiring additional coordination. It’s also unclear how many eggs will be successfully harvested. As for egg donors, you may be limited in terms of location and the availability of specific ethnic groups. The donor’s and recipient’s cycles must also be synchronized ahead of time with birth control and other medications, which can be complicated and hard to schedule.

Using Frozen Donor Eggs

The main advantage of using frozen donor eggs is that they are highly convenient for everyone involved. The donor’s and recipient’s cycles do not have to line up and you never have to worry about your egg donor not being available.

Find an Egg Donor

Whether you choose fresh or frozen eggs, both may improve your chances of having a successful pregnancy through IVF. To discuss your optimal treatment or for any donation questions, contact Egg Donor America for a consultation today.